Friday, 27 April 2012

I solemnly swear... When language goes bad

It can be so delightful watching children grow and seeing them master skills from rolling over, to crawling, then walking, hearing them say their first word...until they say one of those words that is.

Sophia’s at the stage where she’s experimenting with language.  She didn’t start talking properly until she was about two-and-a-half-years-old (we think the delay may have had something to do with the birth of her brother – they say that young children can regress slightly when a big life event like this happens), but now she’s a real little chatterbox.  If I may be so bold, she's also a little bit of a bossy boots.  I love it.

It’s wonderful to hear her chattering away but my husband and I have had to face a real fear recently - what do you do when language 'turns bad’?

Monday, 23 April 2012

WSPA campaign gathers more support

It's been a little while since I last wrote about the WSPA Cruelty in a Concrete Jungle campaign and for that, I apologise.

I promised to let you know when the London Mayoral candidates pledged their support to fighting wildlife crime in London.  Since my last post, I'm pleased to report another of the runners and riders in the race to be Mayor of London has pledged their support to fighting wildlife crime in London.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Win! £50 Experience Days gift voucher

How many of you will be watching the London marathon this morning?  With a sports journalist in the house, it's kind of inevitable here.  Not that I'm complaining...much.

Does anyone know someone who's running the marathon?  Anyone thinking of doing it themselves?  I can categorically say right now, I'm not.  I can't be arsed don't need to run the London marathon.  Strike that, it's more honest to say I can't run the London marathon.  Running around after two small children non-stop at home is enough to get me red-faced and out of breath never mind 26 miles of road!  I have the utmost respect for those who choose to do it and especially manage to complete the course.

Looking after children can be great exercise (lifting two growing and increasingly heavy children has done wonders for my bingo wings), but it can be a tiring job being a mum, don't you think?  The best job of course, but also an exhausting one.  Time to relax and pamper yourself is much rarer nowadays, which is why I'm delighted to offer you, my lucky readers, the chance to win a £50 gift voucher to spend at Experience Days.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Riding the work / life rollercoaster

You may remember that, right at the start of March, I wrote about how hard I was finding being a full-time working mum again.  First of all, thank you so much to everyone who commented on that post, your words really touched me.  I was - and still am - grateful for your support.

One lovely commenter suggested I wait and see how I felt after 12 weeks of being back at work (at the time I had been back for five).  I am now creeping toward that 12-week milestone so, how am I feeling now?  A bit better but not, if that makes any sense at all.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Planet Cards review and discount code!

My husband and I have marked an important date in the diary.  In August, our son Dexter will be christened (or, as my husband likes to put it, we'll be having a big party for family and close friends).  His godparents are chosen, a 'save the date' request went out to our intended guests via Facebook (we're so with the times!) and invitations were posted just before Easter.  Now to sit back and wait for the RSVP's to start rolling in.

I was glad to get the sending of invites out of the way; Dexter's christening may still be four months away but August is prime holiday season and I like to make sure guests get invites early so they have as much warning as possible.  I was the same when organising Sophia's christening and mine and my husband's wedding.

I had been looking round for some special invitations for quite a while.  Hello then, to Planet Cards.  A new website that offers personalised cards for a range of occasions. Categories include 'birthday', 'new baby', 'wedding', 'religious' and Christmas', and cards are mainly invitations and announcement and thank you cards.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Girls and boys, cats and dogs

My husband has a rather fascinating theory.  Apparently, when it comes to children, they can be broadly separated into two categories; girls are like cats and boys are like dogs.

Let me try to explain his thinking on this one.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

ONE campaign to end poverty and hunger

With the excess of Easter now behind us, how are you?  Do you still have mounds of chocolate to munch your way through, or did you completely over-indulge and devour every last morsel before sunset arrived on Easter Sunday?  Anyone manage to eat their own weight in chocolate?

Sophia and Dexter received a grand total of 10 eggs between them over the weekend.  Being only three and one respectively and having no concept of 'taking it easy' when it comes to sugary treats, my husband and I are trying to eke out the chocolate.  After all, having to deal with small children on a sugar high after eating too much chocolate is not good for anyone's sanity!

The Easter weekend is a wonderful tradition and I feel so lucky that we live in a country where we have access to a variety of good, (mostly) healthy food and are able to eat as much as we want.  Sadly, it's not the same story for so many children living elsewhere in the world. 

Here comes the serious bit...

According to the organisation, ONE, 1.4 billion people – that's about 20% of the world’s population – live in extreme poverty and more than two-thirds of these extremely poor people (nearly 1 billion of them) do not have enough food to eat.  This year alone, 178 million children - more than twice the number of children in the United States - will reach their third birthday stunted.  Their brains and bodies will never fully recover, limiting their chance to learn and grow and this is a direct result of malnourishment.  This sort of damage occurs to so many children by the age of just three-years-old.  That's the same age as Sophia. It doesn't bear thinking about.

Now ONE is fighting to change this. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter traditions (Motherhood Journeys guest post)

It's Good Friday and the Easter weekend officially starts here!  What are your plans for this weekend?  Getting away from it all?  Hiding away at home?  Business as usual?

Whatever you do, I tend to find we have little family traditions that sneak into our lives and hang around year on year.  In my house for example, my husband will be working.  As a sports journalist he's most busy at weekends, bank holidays...whenever any sport is on basically.  It's not great but it keeps the money coming in.

The last of my fabulous guest posting bloggers is the delightful Corinne who writes Motherhood Journeys; a mothering blog about life with three boys (I don't know how she does it!) and a love of the outdoors.  Here's her take on Easter traditions...

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter chocolate (BabberBlog guest post)

Tomorrow is Good Friday and I'm excited to welcome a relatively new blogger to the fold. Lewis has been blogging over at BabberBlog for the last couple of months while awaiting the arrival of his first child (hopefully in a couple of weeks if he is punctual!).  He's written a great guest post for me all about that which you cannot escape from at Easter - chocolate!

Please do pay his blog a visit and show him what a bunch of lovely, warm and welcoming people we are. But much chocolate is too much?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Childhood Easters (DorkyMum guest post)

The Easter bank holiday is creeping up on us and I thought it'd be rather nice to ask other people what they think about this religious holiday.   I put a call out on Twitter and thankfully, a few people got back to me!

So, over the next three days, I have the pleasure of featuring three different, lovely bloggers, all of whom will be writing about Easter traditions and what this occasion means to them.

The first of these is the fabulous DorkyMum.  A Scottish woman now living in Hertfordshire, Ruth has been writing her blog for just under a year and started it as a way to get back into writing after two years as a full time Mum.  She writes about everything from parenting and photography to politics and poetry. 

DorkyMum, take it away...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Best Friends: "Show Real" video challenge

Well, it's the first Monday of April and that can only mean one thing - time for another Show Real video challenge!

The theme for this challenge, which will stay put for the next two months, is 'Best Friends'.

Do you have a best friend and what do you do when you get together?  Is your partner your best friend?  Perhaps you have a BBF (Best Blogging Friend)?  Does your child or children have a special best friend of their own?

I've written about my daughter's relationship with her teddy bear, Barney before but I thought this theme would be the perfect opportunity for a sweet little video about the two of them.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Review - Hotel Chocolat Easter Egg

I had a rather lovely surprise package arrive in the post towards the end of last week:  A Hotel Chocolat Rocky Road to Caramel Extra Thick Easter Egg.

With Easter Sunday only one week away, I thought it only right and proper to devour the whole thing - all in the name of research you understand - so that I could let you know what it's like, just in case you were thinking about buying one to treat yourself your other half.  Oh, the things I do for you...

The Hotel Chocolat website says this egg is "cast in our mellow 40% milk chocolate, with one half-shell studded with crispy puffed rice, cookies and chocolate chunks.  The other half-shell with a layer of caramel chocolate over a base of milk chocolate.  And inside the dreaminess continues – with praline with cookies, liquid caramel and silky smooth milk chocolate ganache along with solid bunnies and chicks cast in milk and caramel chocolate and more."

Sounds exquisite, but what is it really like?  Come and find out...

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